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  • Sensory Table Ideas

    Besides sand/water (want to leave that for outdoors), what do your Littles like to play with the most in your indoor sensory table/tubs?

  • #2
    At Easter, we used rice and food coloring to dye Easter eggs. I repurposed the colored rice for our sensory bins and added cars/trucks/tractors/dump trucks to them so could scoop them.

    We’ve made homemade slime to use with toy fish and dinosaurs in play dough, too.

    I’ve done water beads, I liked them! But I don’t recommend them. They mold easily, so it they’re just a one time use. I also just recently read a child swallowed a water bead, the parents didn’t know about it and it caused the child to get a bacterial infection of some sort.
    Last edited by GirlMomma; 2 weeks ago.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by GirlMomma View Post
      At Easter, we used rice and food coloring to dye Easter eggs. I repurposed the colored rice for our sensory bins and added cars/trucks/tractors/dump trucks to them so could scoop them.

      We’ve made homemade slime to use with toy fish and dinosaurs in play dough, too.

      I’ve done water beads, I liked them! But I don’t recommend them. They mold easily, so it they’re just a one time use. I also just recently read a child swallowed a water bead, the parents didn’t know about it and it caused the child to get a bacterial infection of some sort.
      How long do you let them play with the materials before you throw them out? Good to know about the water beads.

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      • GirlMomma
        GirlMomma commented
        Editing a comment
        I kept the rice for about a month. I threw out the slime and play dough at the end of the week. Those don’t keep as long.

    • #4
      I have two right now. One has popcorn kernels, fake fall leaves, fuzzy, soft pumpkins and scissor scoops. The other has oats, cinnamon sticks, little plastic apples, red plastic heart shaped gems and two wooden buckets.
      pinterest has an amazing supply of sensory bin ideas!

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      • #5
        Oatmeal, aquarium gravel, birdseed, starch peanuts, seed starter pellets, rock candy crystals, topsoil mud, colored mulch, floam, slime, instant pudding/jello, ...

        I can do this for days, just saying. I like diversion play for outdoor time (I mean adult reading under a shade tree). I also can do it inside since the playroom is all linoleum, the side wall opens completely, and the garden hose is two feet away..
        Last edited by Cat Herder; 2 weeks ago.

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        • QueenBee
          QueenBee commented
          Editing a comment
          Sweet! Wish If I had the setup you do I'd do them all!

      • #6
        Originally posted by Cat Herder View Post
        Oatmeal, aquarium gravel, birdseed, starch peanuts, seed starter pellets, rock candy crystals, topsoil mud, colored mulch, floam, slime, instant pudding/jello, ...

        I can do this for days, just saying. I like diversion play for outdoor time (I mean adult reading under a shade tree). I also can do it inside since the playroom is all linoleum, the side wall opens completely, and the garden hose is two feet away..
        I'd kill for a set up like that!! I've always shied away from sensory play with the daycare kids because I'm afraid I'll find oatmeal, rice, etc., everywhere except in the sensory table they started out in.

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        • Cat Herder
          Cat Herder commented
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          I did home daycare for 13 years before I bought this house. It took a few years to find what I was looking for.

        • e.j.
          e.j. commented
          Editing a comment
          When we moved into this house, I had only been doing daycare for a year. We had the daycare room built on so I could have had something like yours if only I had had the imagination and foresight to do it. I'm grateful to have had the dedicated space all these years but probably would do a few things differently if I were to have a room built now.

      • #7
        A mix of dried beans was popular with my group. I added small construction vehicles, cardboard tubes of varying thickness, cups, and I think we eventually rigged up a pulley and some cardboard ramps. The heavy tubes being smashed into a small dish of beans was their favorite part. The boys dubbed it Smash Factory and played it for long stretches many days in a row. Gravel would work if using food for sensory play isn't your cup of tea.

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        • e.j.
          e.j. commented
          Editing a comment
          I love these ideas - yours and everyone else's!

      • #8
        Used rice and beans can be soaked to rehydrate then used with the kids to make suet cakes for wildlife. It is a fun and educational activity.

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